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degree as not to destroy their natural qualities; so that the salt formed by the combination of this acid with potash will consequently be prone to decomposition : but as iron in solution is oxidated by alkaline substances, the affinity which the prussic acid has for metallic oxides may be the cause of its combination; or it may be caused by the iron absorbing the carbonic acid from the potash; or, both these causes may conspire to form the commixture in question: but that either or both of them do, I am not able positively to determine."
Mr. Joshua Bamford and Mr. R. T. jun. also gave solutions.
Answered by Mr. J. Baines, jun.
Whether the atmosphere of the ante-diluvian world was similar to the post-diluvian one, or not, appears to me rather doubtful. There are sentences in the Holy Scripture which seem to suggest an opinion that it was "And God divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. (Gen. i. 7.) "For the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth." "But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground." (Gen. ii. 5, 6.) And at the commencement of the Flood: "The windows of heaven were opened," (Gen. vii. 11.) that is, "the water above the firmament" fell upon the earth and drowned it. We have no mention in Scripture of rain falling, until Gen. vii. 4, when Noah and his family were about to enter the ark: "For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth." If, then, there was no rain before the Flood, there could be no rainbow.
Mr. D. Copsey observes, that "the beautiful phanomenon, the rainbow, is well known to be occasioned by the reflection of the rays of the sun from the drops of falling rain; but we are not to deduce from this, that the appearance was as common before the flood as now; for if that had been the case, we should not have found its appearance propounded in the Scriptures (Gen. ix. 13. 17.) as a token of the covenant
between God and all living creatures, in which he engaged that the earth should no more be destroyed by a flood. If Mr. Allen will turn to the fifth and sixth verses of the second chapter of Genesis, he will find that rain was then unknown on the earth, and the whole face of the ground is said to have been watered by a mist. Now as there is no mention of any rain having fallen until the deluge, I think it may be justly inferred that it was altogether unknown, before the period when that dreadful judgment was inflicted."
Mr. Hirst says, "For my part I can see no reason why the rainbow should not appear as well before the flood as after, except that the atmosphere of the antediluvians was so rare as not to be able to support any clouds; but this is a point of physics which cannot be determined, and it would be useless to enlarge upon it; though many philosophers are of opinion that the atmosphere was much purer before the flood than since; and instance, in proof thereof, the longevity of the antediluvians.
J. H. N. near Leeds says, "The rainbow being the natural effect, of a cause likewise natural, it seems rational to suppose that it was as common before the flood as in our day. It does not appear from the Scrip tures that the rainbow was created purposely as a pledge; but that which was then made, or rather that which was an effect of causes before created, should be considered by Noah, and all future generations, as a token of their preservation from a flood which might destroy the earth.
The sense in which it is to be understood, as a pledge, may perhaps be,-that so long as the sun and atmosphere continue to perform the effects for which they were created, so long as rays of light shall be reflected and refracted by passing through other bodies, so long as rain shall water and refresh the earth, so long as nature shall endure-even so long shall the rainbow be considered as a pledge that the world shall be no more destroyed by water.
Mr. J. E. Savage, in a communication on this query, says, "When the rain is general there can be no rainbow; as often therefore as we see this beautiful phe
nomenon, we may conclude, with certainty, that we need not fear another deluge; for to effect one, there must be a violent rain from all parts of the heavens at once. There can be no doubt but that the rainbow appeared before the flood; but, after that event, it was made a particular pledge, between God and Noah, for the fulfilment of the promise, that the earth should be no more destroyed by water."
Mr. John Smith says, "It has been inferred, from the great age to which the antediluvians arrived, that the atmosphere was very different before the flood from what it has been since. Granting this to have been the case, may we not suggest, as a probable conjecture, that prior to that event there was no rain? Some have contended that the rainbow must have appeared in the antediluvian world; but the tenour of the Almighty's declaration to Noah evidently implies that it was a phænomenon, which, before the deluge, the patriarch had never seen."
Mr. Bamford also answered this query.
Answered by Mr. Baines.
It appears from Professor Hutton's account of the strength and stress of beams, that if a beam laying parallel to the horizon, and supported at each end, be cut into equal parts by a section parallel to the horizon; the strength of each half separately, remaining in the same position as before it was cut, is only one quarter of the strength of the whole beam; Hutton's Course, vol. II. art. 248, corol. 5. On what foundation, then, stands the carpenter's assertion? at all events, the beam can be no stronger when bolted together again.
Mr. Joseph Bamford observes, "When the beam is cut down the middle, and the ends reversed, it must be stronger than before; as the ends nearest the root are at the contrary sides of the "building, and these ends being older than the top end, must be able to bear more weight."
Mr. A. Hirst says, "If a piece of timber tapers very much, its strength will be rendered more uniform by slitting and reversing the ends; but if it be every
where of the same strength, the idea of slitting and bolting together again to increase the strength is very erroneous; as so far from this being the case, it must certainly be weaker, because the part taken away by the saw was stronger than any other section of the beam (in round timber the middle section being the deepest); besides this, the bolt holes must cut a great number of the fibres of the wood, which will also impair the strength. For these two reasons the beam must be weakened; and I am at a loss to imagine what arguments can be adduced to prove that it is strengthened by this operation."
QUERIES PROPOSED FOR DISCUSSION
1 Qu. (55) By Mr. M. Harrison, Crosland, near Huddersfield.
What motive, or intention, have brewers for boiling their wort previous to its fermentation?
2 Qu. (56) By Mr. J. Baines, jun. Horbury Bridge, near Wakefield.
What becomes of the cuckow after it gives over singing in this country; does it migrate further to the north, remain mute here, or return again to the south?
3 Qu. (57) By the same.
How are we to understand Gen. vi. 2. respecting the sons of God" and the "daughters of men ?”
4 Qu. (58) By Mr. John Nowell, Farnley Wood, near Huddersfield.
The sulphuric acid often adheres to the malic, from some accident in the preparation of the latter; required a process for removing the sulphuric completely, without leaving any other acid in solution.
aqat 19 5 Qu. (59) By the same.
Iron is precipitated by the triple prussiate of potash and iron (which is a combination of the prussic acid,
potash, and iron), in the form of beautiful coloured precipitates, depending on the different degrees of oxidation if so, how does it happen that the triple prussiate holds a quantity in solution, without a precipitation taking place?
6 Qu. (60) By Mr. E. S. Eyres, Liverpool.
Required the easiest and quickest method of producing azotic or nitrogen gas, in the greatest state of purity.
7 Qu. (61) By Mr. J. Bn, London.
Is the following position of Rousseau tenable? "Take from the learned the pleasure of being heard, and their love of knowledge would vanish. They do not study to obtain wisdom, but the reputation of it: philosophy would have no charms, if the philosophers had no admirers."
8 Qu. (62) By Mr. M. Phoston.
Required the reason why paper becomes transparent by being oiled?
9 Qu. (63) By Mr. D. Copsey, Bocking.
Do swallows and martins migrate, or lie torpid, during the winter?
10 Qu. (64) By Mr. J. Bn, London.
What is meant by the following passage in Judges, chap. ix. ver. 45, "And Abimilech beat down the city (Shechem), and sowed it with salt?
11 Qu. (65) By J. H. N. near Leeds.
In what age and nation was the science of medicine first practised by regular physicians?
12 Qu. (66) By Mr. J. E. Savage, Surfleet.
Required the origin of the terms whig and tory.